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Ruby Sparks (2012)



Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 168
Fresh: 133 | Rotten: 35

Cleverly written and wonderfully acted, Ruby Sparks overcomes its occasional lags in pace with an abundance of charm and wit.


Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 42
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 11

Cleverly written and wonderfully acted, Ruby Sparks overcomes its occasional lags in pace with an abundance of charm and wit.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 35,086

My Rating

Movie Info

Calvin (Dano) is a young novelist who achieved phenomenal success early in his career but is now struggling with his writing - as well as his romantic life. Finally, he makes a breakthrough and creates a character named Ruby who inspires him. When Calvin finds Ruby (Kazan), in the flesh, sitting on his couch about a week later, he is completely flabbergasted that his words have turned into a living, breathing person. -- (C) Fox Searchlight


Drama, Comedy


Oct 30, 2012


Fox Searchlight - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (168) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (133) | Rotten (35) | DVD (2)

Sometimes it's worth surrendering to cinematic enchantments, and Ruby Sparks makes a pretty good case for its own magic.

January 8, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sure it's been done before -- man brings ideal woman to life -- but not quite like Ruby Sparks. And that sets this film up to be a smart and romantic low-key comedy that goes beyond expectations.

January 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If the result feels like a Pinocchio story that spends too much time with Geppetto, or a takedown of narcissism that never breaks free of what it's critiquing, Dano nonetheless makes Calvin compelling company.

January 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kazan winds up indulging in the very wish-fulfillment she initially sets out to deconstruct.

January 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ruby Sparks flirts with preciousness and has less fun with its premise than it could have, but that's because it's actually a gently touching metaphorical drama about the real essence of love.

January 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ruby Sparks might have been more fun if Cal were written to be expansive instead of a worrywart in the middle-aged Matthew Broderick mode.

January 8, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ruby Sparks is an honest, entertaining, and insightful picture that, despite a very 'filmy' happy ending, offers up an amusingly frank deconstruction of the 'dream girl' idea that pervades much modern fiction.

November 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Quickflix

Having established this whimsical dream-come-true situation, the film now sneakily subverts it.

July 17, 2013 Full Review Source:

Kazan the writer asks a lot of Kazan the actress, putting her through an emotional wringer while also calling upon her to convincingly traverse a path from happiness to humiliation without missing a beat. She seldom disappoints.

May 26, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

It's a refreshing take for a rom-com, and when you add in a healthy dose of humour, it makes for an enjoyable and intelligent treat.

February 6, 2013 Full Review Source: The Standard
The Standard

The hit and miss nature of Ruby Sparks is a surprise given it's from the same duo that brought us Little Miss Sunshine.

January 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

Ruby Sparks feels like the best Woody Allen movie Woody Allen never made.

January 8, 2013 Full Review Source: NOW Toronto
NOW Toronto

Screenwriter/actress Kazan's theory seems to have been that if she's going to write herself a part, she might as well make it a crackerjack one.

January 8, 2013 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Even with the draggy pacing, though, the actors and the central idea are so good that Dayton and Faris never lose us completely.

January 8, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It tackles the idea that people in a relationship will often try to remake the other person in their image. Some of the twists are more obvious than others, but it has just enough charm (mostly from Kazan herself) to skate by.

December 12, 2012 Full Review Source:

It may be directed by the pair that gave us "Little Miss Sunshine," but what makes this one work is writer Zoe Kazan, who doubles as the female lead.

November 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

far too derivative of other angsty independent romances that it failed to keep my attention

November 8, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Displaying a self-confidence that would put Muhammad Ali to shame, Kazan has cast herself as her real-life boyfriend's fantasy woman.

October 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Star | Comment (1)
Daily Star

A sprightly, slightly twisted take on the romcom genre.

October 15, 2012 Full Review Source: SFX Magazine
SFX Magazine

The movie's funny for the first half-hour. But thereafter it stumbles like someone trying to find their way out of a hall of mirrors.

October 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Audience Reviews for Ruby Sparks

A novelist's main character comes off the page and becomes his real-life dream girl.
In its epistemological themes and its depiction of malignant patriarchy, Ruby Sparks is profound and intellectually satisfying, and it's to the film's credit that it balances heavy philosophical issues with comic relief. The creation of a dream girl, a quirky and willing beauty, seems attractive on its face, but the power this task involves makes one question whether it is appropriate. And once God - the author Calvin in this case - is given too much power, what happens to the automaton, his creation. *Spoiler Alert* The theme is better expressed had it ended sooner, without the expectation of happiness.
Paul Dano is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. His lanky mawkishness is balance by the clarity of his expression, and he has a talent for choosing only the most promising projects.
Overall, I really liked this film because it's both deep and enjoyable on the surface.
October 26, 2013
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

four stars
July 10, 2013
MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer

A unique and endearing love story, with a refreshing plot twist. Cute, and a little twisted. One of those little-known, low-budget indie films, that turns out far better than I expected. Really nice. Really imaginative...
April 29, 2013

Super Reviewer

Ruby Sparks is one of the more unique films I have had the pleasure of watching this year. It's a really smart film and I loved finding out that it was written by Zoe Kazan. She is quite the talent. She and Paul were pure chemistry magic on screen. Their of screen romance melted well onto their onscreen romance. I love them together. Paul has been a favorite of mine for a long time and he does a great job in this movie. He never gets the praise he deserves in films though which is sad.
This film is one of the many reasons I love Independent films. They always bring fresh and unique scripts to the screen. I can't wait to see what else Kazan does in the future.
Now about the movie; It's a good look at how both men and women dream up the perfect person think they have found them and then get disappointed when they find a flaw. Once the flaw is found we try to change the person into what we want them to be. This is a perfect film to show that it never works. You have to love the person complete with flaws and all. We are who we are and we shouldn't have to feel the need to change one another and maybe if we just started accepting the flaws and imperfections within each other then maybe more relationships would last. Too many spend so much time trying to change their better halves instead of just enjoying the time and company of them. So let this film be a lesson to us all.
April 25, 2013

Super Reviewer

    1. Calvin: I control you.
    – Submitted by Elena S (13 months ago)
    1. Calvin Weir-Fields: I couldn't see you when you were here and now that you're gone, I see you everywhere.
    – Submitted by Andrea M (13 months ago)
    1. Calvin: Oh... I'm just having trouble wrapping my head around the reality of this situation.
    – Submitted by Kristinne Chrystelles B (21 months ago)
    1. Ruby: I miss you already, Ruby!
    – Submitted by Superkitty A (21 months ago)
    1. Harry: Mindcest?
    – Submitted by Richard F (22 months ago)
    1. Ruby: I 'm not your child!
    2. Ruby: You don't get to decide what I do.
    3. Calvin: Wanna bet?
    – Submitted by Rafael M (22 months ago)
View all quotes (10)

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Foreign Titles

  • Ruby Sparks - Meine fabelhafte Freundin (DE)
  • Elle s'appelle Ruby (FR)
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